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Robinson Scores 27, Rodman Grabs 22 to Defeat Clippers

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Sports Arena is still Mr. Robinson’s ‘hood.

David Robinson, San Antonio’s all-star center who scored 71 points against the Clippers in the final game of the 1993-94 season to edge Shaquille O’Neal for the NBA scoring title, had 27 points, seven rebounds and three blocks as the Spurs won, 103-88, Saturday night before an announced crowd of 8,070.

Charles Outlaw, a 6-foot-8 swingman who opened the game at center for the Clippers, and 6-9 backup center Tony Massenburg actually did a good job of guarding Robinson, who came into the game averaging 28 points a game.

“I thought the guys we put on the Admiral did as well as they can,” Clipper Coach Bill Fitch said. “They’re a good basketball team. It’s not the kind of team you want to play back to back if you want to get some momentum going.”

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Robinson, who made his first six shots, made 10 of 14 and all seven of his free throws as the Spurs (18-10) won their fourth consecutive game.

Spur forward Dennis Rodman, the NBA’s most eccentric player, drew strange looks from the crowd, as usual, because his hair is dyed sunburst orange, with the male symbol shaved into his scalp. He has the modern primitive look down pat, complete with several tattoos and body piercings.

But Rodman’s weirdness has made him a cult hero. Three fans behind the press table donned orange wigs when Rodman entered the game with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter. “Dennis, we’ll be at the Forum when you play there,” one of them said, drawing a smile from Rodman.

One young fan in the second row, who wore a Spur jersey with Rodman’s number 10, had his spiked hair dyed the same color.

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Rodman’s appearance may be a distraction, but he’s made a difference on the court.

The Spurs have won 10 of 11 games since he came off the suspended list on Dec. 10.

Rodman, who has won the NBA rebounding title the last three seasons, had a season-high 22 rebounds in 33 minutes as San Antonio outrebounded the Clippers, 45-30.

“Dennis just plays hard, he comes to play every night,” Spur forward Terry Cummings said. “With him being here, it’s just made our bench and our team more solid.”

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Rodman even ran into Clipper owner Donald T. Sterling when he dived into the courtside seats in hot pursuit of a loose ball.

“It was vintage (Rodman),” Clipper forward Loy Vaught said. “He played great defense and got a lot of rebounds. One thing about that guy, he comes to play and he plays the same way, that’s 100% all out every night.”

Rodman may come to play, but he doesn’t come to talk.

He avoided the media, remaining in an area just outside the showers, where he met with locker room visitors that included Billy Crystal.

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The Clippers, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, came within six at 73-67 a few seconds into the fourth quarter, but San Antonio outscored the Clippers, 15-6, in a four-minute span to take control.

Vaught had a team-high 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers (5-26), who face the Spurs again Tuesday in San Antonio.

Forward Sean Elliott scored 21 points, and Chuck Person made four three-pointers and had 20 points for the Spurs.

Clipper Notes

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Clipper guard Malik Sealy sat out his second consecutive game because of a sprained left ankle. He hopes to return Tuesday night at San Antonio.


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